Search Results for: judaism

A Descendant of the Founder of Hasidic Judaism Just Came Out As an Atheist Trans Woman

When I read about Abby Stein in a Jewish Telegraphic Agency article, I knew I wanted to talk to her. She’s 24, a student in Brooklyn, and the descendant of a founder of Hasidic Judaism, Rabbi Yisroel ben Eliezer (also known as the Baal Shem Tov).

Four years ago, she left the Hasidic faith in which she was raised, and about a month ago, she came out publicly — including to her conservative family — as a transgender woman.

When it comes to gender roles, Hasidic Judaism is arguably one of the strictest religions in how it upholds specific rules and responsibilities for men and women. Understandably, Stein’s coming out hasn’t gone over well with her family, particularly with her father. But she’s found a safe space in liberal Jewish circles where she’s accepted for her true self, and she blogs regularly to share news about her gender identity, her journey, and her relationship to her past and present faith.

Stein and I talked on the phone about her interest not only in atheism, but in progressive Judaism, humanism, philosophy, and the many other pieces that make up who she is.

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Ask Richard: Should I Feign Converting to Judaism to Keep Peace in the Family?

Dear Richard, I’m in a long-term relationship with a man raised in a modern Orthodox Jewish family. He and I are atheists happy to participate in Jewish culture, but lacking any interest in the spiritual side of things. His parents are both very observant. His mom converted before marrying his dad, and now runs a [Read More…]

Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism

You often hear from atheists who left Christianity and occasionally from atheists who left Islam. You rarely hear about atheists who leave ultra-orthodox Judaism. But apparently, there are many non-believers in their ranks and they’re starting to tell their stories: Matan (a pseudonym like all names in this article) was an ultra-Orthodox Jew who stopped [Read More…]

Using Judaism to Ban Fur

Greeting everyone, this post is by Ron Gold. One of the reasons I respect Judaism more than most religions is that the faith mandates a relatively humane treatment towards animals. In contrast, every now and then I run into a Christian who seems to take the perspective that God put animals on the Earth for [Read More…]

Setting the Record Straight on Judaism

Rabbi Brad Hirschfield has a list of “12 Things You Didn’t Know About Judaism” up at Beliefnet. I’m waiting for the rebuttal: “10 Things I Hate About Jews.” (Cue rim shot.) Anyway, here’s the non-detailed version of Hirschfield’s article: Judaism isn’t about being Jewish You don’t need to be Jewish to get into Heaven Being [Read More…]


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